As you can tell from the top left hand side of my blog page, I use and recommend Kubuntu Linux. When I first started using Linux back in 2003, I used the then most popular version for non-geeks, Mandrake.

To be honest, Mandrake began to become painful. Maybe it was the change in the software company's hierarchy that did it (they sacked its founder) but I found the support and quality beginning to lack.

Kubuntu is essentially a version of the most popular Linux distribution today, Ubuntu. The difference is that Ubuntu uses Gnome while Kubuntu uses KDE. I've always been a fan of KDE while using it with Mandrake, so I opted for this particular version of Ubuntu. To be honest, Ubuntu and Kubuntu are pretty much the same - you can choose to install and run KDE or Gnome on either one if you want.

The biggest gripe I ever had with Linux distributions is upgrading the software. Mandrake is based on Red Hat, while K/Ubuntu is based on Debian, the former being a company that tries to make money out of free software while the latter is a community of programmers dedicated to making the geekiest (and most stable/secure) operating system for themselves. Software upgrades usually occurred via downloading software. In Kubuntu's case it is something called Adept. But every time a new version came along, I would have to either buy a CD from somewhere or download it (600+ mb), and then install the entire o/s all over again.

This process was quite tiresome. I had to reinvent the wheel every 6 months or so. It involved saving all my personal data by burning a few DVDs, then inserting the CD into the drive and go through the installation procedure all over again. The network had to be configured. The o/s had to recognise my two hard drives and CD/DVD drives. And then I had to resinstall my personal data.

Then, of course, I had to reinstall all the programs I was using in the previous o/s. That meant endless time downloading things like Firefox, Thunderbird, Freeciv, The Gimp... and so on.

Now, no more.

I discovered the other day that you can upgrade K/Ubuntu via Adept. Before, I was running Kubuntu 6.10, now I'm running 7.4. And I did this without all the hassle of reinstalling everything. It was just a matter of hitting the button marked "upgrade to Kubuntu 7.4" and away I went. I did have problems, but that was due mainly to my ISP cutting off my internet connection for maintenance reasons at 11.55pm.

The community of K/Ubuntu users is very helpful. There is a forum for Kubuntu users that I frequent often and there is always someone to help - as I have found out in solving the problem I was talking about.

If you're using a computer to a) Surf the 'net, b) Send and receive emails, c) Use as a word processor, and d) Not play the latest and greatest games... then I seriously urge you to consider Kubuntu Linux. You can download the installation CD from the Kubuntu website or choose to buy it from ebay.

One last thing. I have written this post because I use and recommend Kubuntu Linux. I am not, in any way, formally associated with the Ubuntu organisation or receive any financial incentives or payment for doing this. I am simply an enthusiastic and satisfied user.

No comments: